By the time the ink had dried on the last contract signed on the opening day of NHL free agency, what was old was new again for Flames with the additions of Alex Tanguay and Olli Jokinen, and although Darryl Sutter will tell you otherwise, reaction to the latter signing has run the gamut from measured to puzzled to completely outraged, and has hardly been positive on most Flames-related blogs and many media outlets. The GM did shed a little light on the reasons behind his courting of Jokinen on Friday, however, when he revealed that Daymond Langkow is behind on his recovery from a neck injury sustained in late March.
Sutter also claimed that discussions with Craig Conroy, undoubtably the team's second-best and most affordable option to play tough minutes at centre behind Langkow, are ongoing. With $1.15M in cap space remaining after Thursday's signings of Tanguay and Jokinen along with enforcers Ivanans and Jackman and the news that Ian White has filed for salary arbitration, there is still the potential for movement, as the team has yet to find a solution for Ales Kotalik after he cleared waivers, has an excess of defencemen at their disposal, and is still lacking in the forward department after losing Dawes (buyout), and Higgins, Nystrom, and Mayers all to free agency. With few options on the farm and the free agent market thinning out daily, Sutter would certainly be best to make quick work of things.
Links after the jump.
WI shares her perspective on the state of the Flames [Hit the Post]
Arik reacts to the Flames' additions [4th Line Blog]
Six of the best free agents remaining on the market, including the Flames' Ian White [Puck Daddy]
Arik reacts to the Jokinen signing and some comparable contracts signed on July 1 [4th Line Blog]
Iconic tough guy Bob Probert passed away this afternoon after collapsing on his boat and being rushed to hospital. His family is expected to release a statement this evening [The Windsor Star]
Ilya Kovalchuk was expected to make his long-awaited decision on which team will overpay for his services today, and it was rumoured that the Devils were the favourites to re-sign the Russian sniper, having offered him a $60M/7-year contract [New York Post]
Former Windsor Spitfires head coach Bob Boughner officially joined the Columbus Blue Jacket's coaching staff today [Kukla's Korner]
A beautiful article by Bruce Arthur on Brian Burke and his continuing dedication to his late son Brendan [The National Post]
Lastly, I hope those that made it out to Five Hole For Food's event in Calgary today had a wonderful time and managed to contribute a donation to the Calgary Food Bank. Unfortunately I was unable to make it, but the Flames fans team was probably better off without me.
I hope you are all recovering nicely from celebrating your nation(s) birthdays this long weekend, and have a great week!